Fabulous Fall-Winter Escapes
Each year my travel list continues to grow. Yes, I have a bunch of exotic locales I’d love to explore, including the Maldives, Bolivia, and Sri Lanka. But for me, and many people, time and budget don’t always allow a trip to a far-flung destination. That said, there are plenty of vacation options close to home or an easy plane ride away. Looking for a fall-winter escape? Hop a flight to any of these places––just pack your bags and go!
This soulful town has recovered since Hurricane Katrina paralyzed it in 2005, and tourism continues to flourish. New Orleans has long been one of the most popular US cities to travel to, and I feel like that interest has in only swelled since the town was number one on the New York Times 52 Places to Go in 2018. Though I lived in the South for more than a decade and traveled through much of this area of the country, I’ve yet to experience the joie de vivre of New Orleans. Maybe 2023 will be my year.
Flight time from New York: 3 hours and 20 minutes
Must drink: French 75 at French 75 Bar (where else?)
I’ve been to Milan, and I can honestly say that I loved this city. I didn’t find it as busy as Rome, and the food and fashion are reason enough for a stopover or an extended weekend. From the Duomo di Milano to Teatro alla Scala and Corso Como, to trattorias preparing traditional dishes like risotto Milanese, osso buco, and panettone, Milan is a favorite for a city girl like me. I can bask in the culture of this northern Italian metropolis for a few days and still catch a breather from the madness of New York.
Flight time from New York: 7 hours and 50 minutes
Must pack: My Italian shoes for nights out in the style capital (or buy a pair when I’m there).
Thought of as one of the must-see spots in Texas, Alamo City doesn’t lack dining options or attractions, that’s for sure. You’ll discover Spanish missions, Tex-Mex eateries, not to mention the Tobin Performing Arts Center, so just know that San Antonio provides plenty of appealing choices depending on your travel preferences. With the expansion of River Walk in 2013, the time is now to tour this southwestern town. I traveled to San Antonio many years ago, and I’d love to return and experience the updated version of the country’s seventh largest city.
Flight time from New York: 4 hours and 30 minutes
Must go: Pearl Brewery for shopping and farm-to-table eats.
No one can deny the lure of sun and sand in the sunshine state. In fact, a fall-winter escape in Florida sounds perfect to me. A vibrant town itself, Miami Beach offers action-packed South Beach with blocks of classic Deco architecture on Ocean Drive, stellar shopping, and a pulsating nightlife scene. After perusing the Art Deco district, I’d be lounging by a pool or walking along the coastline before eating the grilled branzino at Amalia.
Flight time from New York: 3 hours and 10 minutes
Must buy: A new straw hat that’s both fashionable and practical.
While fall and winter won’t be warm in Canada, Quebec City is supposed to be magical during the holiday season. Cousin to Montreal, the Francophone town is rich in history and culture, and one of the oldest civilizations in North America. Quebec City promises a diverse lineup for first-time tourists and tons of things to see and do for second and third timers. For me, a tour of Old Quebec, shopping at La Maison Simons, a stop at the famous hotel Château Frontenac, and a bite to eat with a glass of wine at Buvette Scott would round out my itinerary.
Flight time from New York: 1 hour and 35 minutes
Must wear: Uggs in winter, and a chic velvet blazer on fall days.
Three-hour flights to the Caribbean are a valid reason to escape cold weather. Even those with little vacation time can venture on an extended weekend getaway to the Bahamas. Decompress on quiet stretches of sand, browse cute shops and art galleries, and feast on the freshest conch salad you’ll ever taste. And the real bonus of the island is that Bahamian hospitality. You should feel a warm welcome from the moment you arrive.
Flight time from New York: 2 hours and 55 minutes
Must do: Stop by John Watling’s Distillery for a tour and a cocktail
JW Marriott’s slick downtown hotel could tempt you to spend your fall-winter getaway inside. The Stonehill-Taylor designed property features refined luxury, serene interiors with tons of space, a spa, and fabulous food and drink. But don’t let all that stop you from exploring Music City. The hotel’s convenient downtown location puts you within a quick walk of the Country Music Hall of Fame, The Gulch (where Nashville’s young, hip crowd hangs) and honky tonk Broadway. Just know that your weekend in Nashville could be as much about eating as it would be about music.
Flight time from New York: 2 hours and 25 minutes
Must eat: Garganelli verde with heritage pork ragu at Rolf & Daughters
Where are you tempted to go for a fall-winter escape? Happy and safe travels!
Plus, road trips!